Monday, December 18, 2017

Spooky Sea Dwellers

October 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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spooky sea dwellers title

Though you can’t see them from your boat or along the beach, ghostly creatures live below the ocean’s surface. They frighten and then eat other creatures, and can also be pretty scary if spotted by a sea diver or scientist.

Pacific lamprey courtesy USFWS Pacific Region

Courtesy USFWS Pacific Region

 

The Pacific lamprey can grow over two feet long. They are parasites that attach to much larger creatures such as whales, using their teeth to attach to its prey. Look at those teeth!

 

goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni Japan (specimen / digitally manipulated) David Shen / SeaPics.com

Courtesy David Shen / SeaPics.com

 

A goblin shark grows up to 13 feet in length and resemble a slow-moving prehistoric creature. Its long, sharply curved teeth are made for gouging and crushing other sharks, rays, crustaceans, squid, octopus, and cuttlefish. They have visible blood vessels below their skin, and the youngest may look very ghost-like.

Blob fish courtesy NOAA Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Courtesy NOAA Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

 

The blobfish has no muscles and its skin resembles slime or other gooey substances (this lets it live deep within the ocean where pressure would crush many creatures). They can grow to about one foot, feeding on sea urchins and mollusks that float in their path.

 

 

Red octopus courtesy NOAA Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Courtesy NOAA Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

A red octopus has bloody looking rough skin. With eight sucker-lined arms, a parrot-like beak (to crack shells) and an ink sac that sends out reddish brown ink to confuse its enemies, they are truly unnerving creatures.

 

 

 

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